Sarah Meier/Staff Writer
The “circus of the sun” Cirque du Soleil returns to Corpus next month with an East-West flair. Performances for “Dralion” (pronounced draw-lee-on) will begin on March 9 at the American Bank Center and run through March 11, for a total of five shows.
Dralion blends traditional Chinese acrobatics with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil to tell the story of Man and Nature and their battle to achieve harmony. According to the Dralion website, the show’s name “is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West.” Taking much of its inspiration from China, India, and Africa, Dralion’s costuming emphasizes “vibrant solid colors” that symbolize each of the four elements of nature: red represents fire, green denotes water, blue signifies air and ochre symbolizes earth.
But Cirque du Soleil’s most distinguishing aspect is its showcase of human capability, said Vanessa Napoli, Publicist for Arena Shows for Cirque du Soleil. “Real people are doing unreal things,” she said. “It’s really about what the human body can do.”
Napoli said emotion also plays a large role in a Cirque du Soleil production. “People come out of the show and they feel something. Days later they’re still thinking about it.” That’s what keeps them coming back, she said.
To bring the show to Corpus, Cirque employs 19 semis and 100 employees, 51 of who are performing artists. The company also hires 60 to 80 locals to help set up and tear down the set, a process that takes about 12 and 3 hours, respectively.
Tickets start at $40 for adults and can be purchased at the American Bank Center box office, online or at the Cirque du Soleil website. Discounts are available for students, military and children. Family members can save by purchasing “Family 4-packs.”